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Getting Situated in a New City

May 6, 2010 | Apartment Lifestyle, Everyday Living

No matter how exciting a big move can be, creating a new life in an unknown city can sometimes be challenging and uncomfortable at first. You might not know where the most basic and necessary places are located, like the bank or grocery store, and this can become a daily stressor testing your patience. But have faith—you will soon come to know your new city, and is here to help.

Tips for Relocating:

  • Make the Most of Your Initial Visit: Since it’s likely that you will visit your new city to look for housing at some point prior to your move, we recommend using this time to discover more about your surroundings: the general geography of the neighborhood, residents and types of activities that your new city offers.
  • Ask Questions: Don’t be shy! You’ll find that people are generally willing to help out and love to share their favorite local hangouts! If you visit an apartment, talk to the landlord about the neighborhood and types of tenants who live in the building. When you get your morning coffee, ask the server where to find the best burger in town. And the guy behind the counter at the rental car kiosk can likely show you the major freeways and roads to help get your bearings for travel times and distance around town.
  • Go Online: Harness the power of the internet—especially if you’re moving to your new home site-unseen. If you enter your new address or neighborhood into Google search, it will appear on a map. From there you can search for nearby amenities like restaurants, parks, grocery stores, and banks. Then you can use sites like Yelp and CitySearch to get reviews on local businesses from real patrons. You can also get a feel for what the community offers by checking out the website of your new town’s chamber of commerce or visitor’s bureau. Here you can learn about your transportation options, cultural and sporting events, and city services.
  • Explore: Once you’ve moved, dedicate a few weekends to aimlessly exploring your new neighborhood and city. Try not to put yourself on a set schedule with a start and end time; instead, simply embrace the idea of getting lost in your new surroundings! As you explore, try to make mental notes (or actual notes), as to where important landmarks are located and then use these landmarks to help you with your daily and weekly routines. By investing some time in the beginning to get to know your surroundings, you’ll be able to enjoy everything that your new city has to offer.
  • Join the Community: Although making new friends can sometimes be daunting, simply being considerate can go a long way toward developing new relationships. If you borrow a cup of sugar from a neighbor, bring over a slice of the cake that you baked for them to enjoy. Consider taking a class, joining a book club or getting involved in a local community organization. You won’t always hit it off with everyone you talk to, but all of these are good ways to meet people and expand your relationship base.
  • Make a Hair Appointment: OK, this advice might seem strange, but think about it. Hair dressers spend all day talking to people and are usually “in the know” about what’s going on in town. Ask around for a recommendation, and then sit back and soak up the knowledge. You’ll be feeling like a local in no time.

Have you ever picked up and relocated to a new city? Tell us about your experience!

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